Will I finally have to give in and wear a red MAGA hat?
I mean, how could I not? I’ve professed many times about the respect I have for Sen. Mike Lee and his knowledge and dedication to the Constitution. If he is appointed to the Supreme Court, it’s most definitely something I would praise any other President for doing, so if I don’t praise Trump for it, that would, once and for all, prove how hate-filled I am for him. Right?
Of course, it doesn’t sound like it will be Mike Lee at this point, so I guess I may dodge a bullet. But, you just never know with Trump, do you?
Even if it’s not Mike Lee, if Trump appoints another strong constitutional originalist to the Supreme Court, shouldn’t I be happy and praise him for it?
The answer is no, I don’t believe he is praise-worthy, no matter who he appoints.
As our friend (and my colleague here at TheNewsBlender), AlienMotives, recently commented on another story concerning the idea of “Good Trump/Bad Trump”,
“There is only Bad Trump. Bad Trump performs some good actions, and I am thankful for those when they occur, but it’s still Bad Trump.”
But there are other reasons that Trump is not praise-worthy on this as well.
First, he doesn’t really know or care about any of this. That was clear during his campaign when he demonstrated an embarrassing lack of knowledge of the Constitution and how our government is structured and how it’s supposed to work. As well, he doesn’t really know or care about the important issues that the Supreme Court will be deliberating and deciding, again demonstrated by his lack of knowledge about every issue during the debates and interviews.
It is clear to me that Trump cares about one thing, and one thing only…Trump. Himself, his name, and his family. He is willing to do anything that he believes will make himself look good (in his own opinion, of course) or calculated to have some other benefit now or in the future for himself or his family.
He realizes that he would not be where he is now without acquiescing such decisions like the Supreme Court nominees to others. He realizes that this is one promise that he cannot break, for if he does, his support will plummet and when that happens, he will lose the cover that the entire GOP is providing for him.
Therefore, his nominee will not be chosen out of some strongly held principles that would deserve praise, but rather, a calculated action for his own benefit and aggrandizement.
Mind you, I will be pleased that the court will have another Constitutionalist making decisions, but I will also recognize that it’s not because of Trump, but in spite of him. This is one area where Republicans seem to be willing to stand up and hold him accountable on. Of course, we haven’t seen what they would actually do if he went rogue and nominated someone not on “the list”, such as his sister (who is, indeed, a judge). During the campaign, when asked what type of judge he would appoint, he did suggest his sister would be a good one. He has since claimed to be kidding, but I sincerely don’t believe that he was. Remember, the Trumps think that they have superior “racehorse” genes, so it falls perfectly in line that he would think his sister would make a great Supreme Court Justice.
Lastly, I think people are putting way too much weight on the significance of the Supreme Court. Our system was not developed such that the Supreme Court, and the appointment of one person, would be so consequential. It’s a sign of a broken system and merely appointing “good” justices is not going to fix it. Yet, it seems way too many people think so. They believe that Republicans are winning and now the Supreme Court will be a conservative court for the foreseeable future.
That thinking is missing the big picture. Everything Trump has claimed to have accomplished during his Presidency (you know, more than any other President in history), including the Supreme Court appointments, are all temporary in nature. If the Dems take control of Congress and the Presidency in 2020, everything Trump has done can be reversed very quickly. And believe me, if there is a strong “blue wave” that makes that happen, they will fully believe they have a strong mandate to do so immediately.
“But not the Supreme Court!” I can hear you yelling at me out there, “It’s the Supreme Court that is most important and the big reason we voted for him!” So it would appear that with a block of five “solid” conservatives on the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, that the right now has a good “lock” on it. Hallelujah!
Wait, not so fast! First, remember, one of those five is Chief Justice John Roberts, the guy who single-handedly carved out a crazy way to solidify Obamacare as being constitutional.
But that’s not all.
If the Dems take control of Congress and the Presidency in a big blue wave, they are going to be eager to reap the rewards. Remember, elections have consequences. They are going to be out for blood…red blood. They are going to be emboldened by what they will perceive as a huge mandate to reverse all of the Trump lunacy, including the Supreme Court.
They already believe that the Scalia seat was outright stolen from them by the Republicans. In their view, it was rightfully Obama’s pick. So, they believe they are owed one for that. They also believe that the Presidential election was likely stolen from them through the Russian interference and Trump colluding with them, so Kennedy’s seat should also have been theirs.
So how will they rectify these injustices?
Simple, they will just add more justices to the court (aka “pack the court”), and they will feel fully justified in doing so. Why? First, because “Trump”, but also because it’s the next logical step in the breakdown of our systems of checks and balances.
Here’s how those steps transpired:
1. The Republicans refused to allow any hearings for Obama judicial nominees. The Dems were livid.
2. The Dems responded by eliminating the filibuster for lower court nominees, allowing them to completely cut-out the Republicans in the process. The Republicans were livid.
3. The Republicans gained control of the Senate and refused to consider Obama’s nomination for the vacated Scalia seat. The Dems were livid.
4. The Republicans, instead of restoring the filibuster to it’s prior function, took it a step further and eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees (aka The Nuclear Option). This allowed them to cut-out the Dems completely for Trump’s nominee. The Dems were livid.
5. The next step will be to eliminate the filibuster for all legislation. Trump has ignorantly and shortsightedly been pushing the Republicans hard to do just that.
6. Once the filibuster is gone, simple majorities can pass any legislation, including changing the legislation that currently sets the Supreme Court at nine justices. In other words, once that filibuster is removed, if the Dems take Congress and the Presidency, they can add Supreme Court Justices at will, with no ability for the Republicans to block it.
And who really believes they won’t do that at this point?
It’s this big picture that keeps me from celebrating all of these supposed wins that the right is racking up thanks to Trump. And it’s precisely becuase of the jackassery of Trump that makes the scenario I described all more likely to happen. Therefore, while he is getting these temporary wins that everyone on the right is cheering and praising, he’s actually setting up a perfect scenario for the progressives to give this Republic and it’s Constitution a final death blow.
So no matter who he nominates, there is still only Bad Trump.